“New Ways of Working” Workshop Series
A series of three-day workshops has been held for operation-level humanitarian professionals and diaspora humanitarians. Their main objectives were to create a space for dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and to capacitate avenues for coordination with the humanitarian systems in a manner that improves overall response to the needs of affected populations.
The variety of humanitarian actors, expertise, and relationships involved in any extended crisis response and the consequential lack of coordination and duplication of efforts oftentimes result in operative challenges and weak response efforts. The “New Ways of Working” workshop series has been designed to address these challenges by equipping diaspora actors and humanitarian workers with a mutual understanding of the international coordination system and support identifying potential avenues of inter-operability for a more effective humanitarian response.
Through presentations, case studies, activities and group dialogues, up to 32 Somali, Syrian and Sierra Leonean diaspora and ‘institutional’ humanitarians representing numerous international NGOs and UN agencies discussed the following issues at the three workshops:
1st DEMAC workshop “Humanitarian Principles, Volunteerism and Coordination”, DRC, Copenhagen, 25 - 27 February 2016 > Programme and Workshop Report
2nd DEMAC workshop “Use of Technology and Social Media in Humanitarian Crisis”, AFFORD, London, 28-30 April 2016 > Programme and Workshop Report
3rd DEMAC workshop “Negotiating Access and Security Management in Complex Environments”, Berghof Foundation, Berlin, 2-4 June 2016 > Programme
Joint Diaspora Recommendations Submitted to the Global Consultation to the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)
The DEMAC consortium organized three separated workshops with Syrian, Somali and Sierra Leonean diaspora aid providers in July 2015 and facilitated the formulation of a joint position paper on humanitarian effectiveness for the World Humanitarian Summit Global Consultation. The position paper provides an overview over current debates on diaspora-based emergency relief and entails recommendations to the World Humanitarian Summit.
DEMAC’s Participation at the Global Consultation to the WHS
Following the submission of the joint position paper the DEMAC consortium was invited by the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat 2015 to suggest diaspora humanitarians to participate to the WHS Global Consultation (GloCon) on 14-16 October 2015 in Geneva. Nine among those suggested diaspora humanitarians and one DEMAC coordinator received an invitation for the GloCon. During the GloCon a diaspora representative presented a statement “Not just a wallet” at the final session “The Road to Istanbul and Beyond”, calling for an improved strategic cooperation between diaspora humanitarians and the institutional humanitarian system. Berghof’s executive director Professor Hajo Giessmann facilitated the Diaspora Preparatory Stakeholder Session at the World Humanitarian Summit Global Consultation.
DEMAC’s WHS Preparatory Meeting Participation at the WHS
Fifteen representatives of humanitarian diaspora organisations suggested by the DEMAC consortium received an invitation to the World Humanitarian Summit. In order to prepare their participation at the WHS, to familiarize them with the outcomes of the consultation process, and to review key stakeholders’ expectations and commitments, 11 of the 15 invited diaspora representatives attended the WHS preparatory meeting in Berlin organized by BF. The main outcome of the preparatory meeting was the drafting of a joint diaspora commitments statement to the WHS. This draft joint diaspora commitments statement[NR1] was shared widely through an online platform with diaspora humanitarians globally for their endorsement.
DEMAC at the WHS
Fifteen representatives of humanitarian diaspora organizations and three DEMAC consortium staff participated at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul/Turkey. Five DEMAC-sponsored diaspora participants delivered statements at the “Member States and Other Stakeholders Announcement Plenary” and one DEMAC diaspora representative delivered a speech at the Special Session on “People at the Centre”. The DEMAC project manager acted as diaspora focal point at the WHS. Two additional DEMAC consortium members also received invitations to attend the WHS.
More information on DEMAC at the WHS.
A fundamental component of the DEMAC project is to share and disseminate the conversations and lessons learned coming out of the various project activities among fellow diaspora-based humanitarian organizations and groups involved in humanitarian aid and emergency response. Those representatives who participated in the New Ways of Working workshop series and other activities contributed to share lessons learned with other diaspora initiatives, organizations, networks and communities. The community workshops took place among Somali, Syrian and Sierra Leonean respectively.
DEMAC Conference “A missing Link? Diaspora’s place in an enhanced international humanitarian system”
Convened by the DEMAC consortium, the conference brought together EU and international representatives from government, civil society, diaspora organisations, humanitarian organisations, and research institutes to explore and discuss opportunities and strengths related to diaspora humanitarianism. Hany El-Banna, founder of Islamic Relief, and Robert Smith, chief of partnership coordination at UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, were among the key note speakers and many diaspora organizations were invited to share their experience and reflections from different contexts.
DEMAC conference report >
DEMAC Advisory Board Meetings
The advisory board consists of a permanent group of 13 representatives from diaspora organizations engaged in relief activities and from institutional aid agencies. The DEMAC Advisory Board follows the project’s progress and discusses its findings with regard to their relevance and validity at policy level. Recommendations made by the Advisory Board are collected to inform further programming and ensures the relevance of activities in pursuit of DEMAC’s objectives. The DEMAC Advisory Board convened in January, June and October 2016.